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Anthony Phillips

ACE Personal Trainer, Health Coach

Cookeville, TN

ACE Profiles |  Anthony Phillips

I am 33 years old from a small town in Tennessee called Monterey, about 15 minutes from where I currently reside in Cookeville. I am an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Heath Coach and a STAR LEVEL1 SPINNING Instructor, and I work for Personal Training Studio, LLC, in Cookeville. I love my job and I believe it’s my passion in life to help others struggling with being overweight. My world for a long time was completely opposite of what it is today – physically, mentally and spiritually. Until I hit the age of about 27, I was severely overweight and I disliked exercise. I even remember my friends trying to get me to go for a walk with them and I would always come up with an excuse. In 27 years, I never experienced “fit” or “skinny.” I maxed out at 420 pounds, and I was knocking on death’s door at a very young age.

All of the popular health ailments run in my family: diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension and certain cancers. I never cared or thought about any of that happening to me. In school, people would make fun of me all the time, even some of the teachers and coaches. People would try to get my attention by using negative remarks toward me, which would make me rebel more. Eventually, I began to isolate myself from others. I worked 3rd shift as a manager for a fast-food chain so I would work all night, and then eat the food I got from a free meal ticket. I would come home and go to bed, sleep all day, get up for work and repeat it over again. On my days off, I would do nothing but sleep or go eat at a buffet somewhere or sit and eat a whole pizza by myself. On a work night, I would easily drink about a gallon of soda.

For a long time my life had no meaning or direction. When I got out of high school, I tried exercising but would give up because I wanted to see results instantly. I thought I was actually destined to be overweight and live in a horrible nightmare, a hell in my mind. When I hit 27, things started to click. I joined a gym and made a commitment to myself. If I could exercise when I got out of work in the mornings, I could get the ball rolling. On my days off from work, I would take the day off from the gym.

I was making it to the gym 5 days a week all on my own. I did not have a trainer or any kind of support network at that time. I cut my sodas and other beverages completely out by switching to water with lemon or lime juice. I would take a 64 oz. jug to work with me. I finally made another commitment to try cardio. If I could get on a treadmill at the gym and start off with 10 minutes of walking each morning before I hit the weights that would be better than doing none at all. After a few weeks I added a few more minutes to my walking until, over a course of several months, I was walking 45 to 50 minutes a day. I also changed my eating habits by cutting out all processed foods and high-carb, sugary foods. I started eating good sources of proteins, lots of veggies, fresh fruits, raw nuts and Greek yogurt. I would research healthy recipes that I never would have thought of before. People started telling me they could see a difference in my body. I thought they were just telling me that to make me feel good, but it turns out they were right. The scales were showing a weekly weight loss. As my body began feeling better and fitter, it sparked a new path in my life.

I would find myself inspiring and helping people around me. I had thought about what it would be like to be a Personal Trainer, but I didn’t think that was me. Others started encouraging me, including my parents, to study and get my Personal Trainer Certification. When I got my study materials from ACE, I looked at the first few chapters and thought to myself, “There is no way I can do this.” I actually set the materials on a shelf for a few months before I finally took the same approach toward tackling the manual that I took with my weight loss. As I continued to press forward, it all started coming together and making sense. In 2010, I passed my Personal Trainer exam, and in 2012, I passed my Health Coach exam. I stepped out of my comfort zone and left the food service world that was all I had known for many years to pursue personal training full time. I now do speaking engagements in my community so I can reach out to people and assure them there is hope. I also took up an interest in teaching SPINNING as well.

I have a vision to not only help others become fit and achieve their goals but to inspire and transform the world one person, one family, at a time. My life is so different now. The biggest question people ask is, "What was it that made you decide to change?" I can tell you the negative remarks that people threw at me thinking they were helping me were not it. Neither were the many diseases that plagued my family. I made a choice, a decision to change my quality of life. I knew that I had to put myself first, and I still do to this day. I got tired of feeling horrible all the time and having to shop and shop for clothes until I could find something to fit me. I decided it was my time to make a change. Since then, I’ve lost 240 pounds.


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